I was debating on whether or not to review Double Dhamaal - especially since this review basically captures my sentiments - but what the heck!
Double Dhamaal is a screwball comedy that’s brow is so low that it may as well be buried beneath the surface of the Earth. I’m not going to lie to you - despite my love of both Arshad Warsi, Kangana Ranaut, and wacky comedy, the promos for this looked particularly dire, all ethnic gags and limp references to current hits. Thankfully, in this case, the crap emphasized in the promos took up a very small segment of the film, which is overwhelmingly hilarious... if you enjoy nut shots. Which I do.
The main story goes something like this - Arshad, Ritiesh Deshmukh, Javed Jaffrey, and Aashish Chaudhary play four doofuses who want a lot of money without having to work for it. They decide to try to scam Sanjay Dutt, who is playing a corporate mogul, out of some cash but nothing is as simple as it seems and the scammers become the scammees who are really the scammers and etc. etc. Also, Kangana Ranaut and Mallika Sherawat stop by and jiggle for the camera. Let’s just say that realism and consistent plotting are not the goal here.
What works in Double Dhamaal is the high energy and commitment to supremely ridiculous joke set-ups. Seriously! These guys are professionals and full effort is dedicated to wringing laughs out of the flimsy material from first frame until the last. Here are some of the things I can tell you without spoiling any gags:
* Javed Jaffrey playing a comedy dimbulb is surprisingly hilarious, even if nobody let him dance, which is always a wasted opportunity in my book. (FILMMAKERS: Y U NO LET JAVED DANCE NO MORE?!) Once all the disguises come in, there are some pretty good gags wrung out of having Javed do some double dhamaal.
* Fact: Arshad Warsi rocks my world. He was looking pretty damn good in those deep v-neck shirts. If he at all felt like he was slumming it by doing the film, not a single bit of it showed. Total class act!
* Riteish Deshmukh has apparently just figured out how to do some tumbling moves and was excited to show them off. He’s a very charismatic performer and I was happy to see Ritiesh do his thing for most of the film... Most. His “African-American” character is really hard to tolerate - I’m one who doesn’t usually have a problem with ethnic gags if they are brief but this was an extended riff on a stereotype. Think Mike Meyers in The Love Guru levels of intolerable. It doesn’t dominate the film but it does make for a few uncomfortable scenes.
* Aashish is somebody I’d never seen in anything before. He wasn’t bad; his drag character was pretty hilarious, although I was mostly surprised that Riteish passed up the opportunity to do it. You usually can’t keep Riteish out of a dress and away from gay humor.
[Also, I approved so much of this "secret file" gag!]
* Sanjay Dutt - mostly a non entity, although I applaud his willingness to endure multiple nut shots.
[Was or was not Kangana's style based on yours truly? Am I right, folks?!!]
* Kangs and Mallika both looked great and jiggled quite well for the cameras. “Jalebi Bai” was really fun, if not quite “Munni” or “Sheila,” surely closer than anything else that’s been out recently.
* The songs were really fun, although I would have preferred more dancing. I loved the gori backup dancers, who were very giggly and engaged. I don’t mind whorey goris if they a) don’t look emaciated and b) look like they are having a good time. These girls fit both critera! Who wouldn’t want to party with the DD crew?! I’d have done that role in a heartbeat!
* The dialogues, as much as I could catch, were funny. The subtitles were pretty bland but if you caught all the different impressions and voices people were doing, it was fun. Satish Kaushik is worth singling out for his amusing delivery style and I have to admit that Javed Jaffrey’s Shahrukh Khan in My Name is Khan impression had me rolling in the aisles.
All in all, Double Dhamaal is a fun film. Far from politically correct and packed full of nut shots, it’s an enjoyable way to spend an evening.